Good Goverance

Good governance=RAT=Responsiveness to stakeholders, Accountability and Transparency

Good governance is an indeterminate term used in international development literature to describe how public institutions conduct public affairs and manage public resources.

Governance is “the process of decision-making and the process by which decisions are implemented (or not implemented)”.[1] The term governance can apply to corporate, international, national, local governance[1] or to the interactions between other sectors of society.

The concept of “good governance” often emerges as a model to compare ineffective economies or political bodies with viable economies and political bodies.[2]

The concept centers around the responsibility of governments and governing bodies to meet the needs of the masses as opposed to select groups in society. Because the governments treated in the contemporary world as most “successful” are often liberal democratic states concentrated in Europe and the Americas, those countries’ institutions often set the standards by which to compare other states’ institutions when talking about governance.[2]

Because the term good governance can be focused on any one form of governance, aid organizations and the authorities of developed countries often will focus the meaning of good governance to a set of requirement that conform to the organization’s agenda, making “good governance” imply many different things in many different contexts.[3][4][5]

Good Governance and International Affairs

In international affairs, analysis of good governance can look at any of the following relationships:[3]

1. between governments and markets,
2. between governments and citizens,
3. between governments and the private or voluntary sector,
4. between elected officials and appointed officials,
5. between local institutions and urban and rural dwellers,
6. between legislature and executive branches, and
7. between nation states and institutions.

The varying types of comparisons comprising the analysis of governance in scholastic and practical discussion can cause the meaning of “good governance” to vary greatly from practitioner to practitioner.[3]

Reform and standards of Good Governance

Three institutions can be reformed to promote good governance: the state, the private sector and civil society.[6] However, amongst various cultures, the need and demand for reform can vary depending on the priorities of that country’s society.[7]

A variety of country level initiatives and international movements put emphasis on various types of governance reform. Each movement for reform establishes criteria for what they consider good governance based on their own needs and agendas.

Good Governance Standards

The following are examples of good governance standards for prominent organizations in the international community.

IMF and Structural adjustment: Rule of law, improving efficiency and accountability

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) declared in 1996 that “promoting good governance in all its aspects, including by ensuring the rule of law, improving the efficiency and accountability of the public sector, and tackling corruption, as essential elements of a framework within which economies can prosper.”[8]

The IMF feels that corruption within economies is caused by the ineffective governance of the economy, either too much regulation or too little regulation.[8] To receive loans from the IMF, countries must have certain good governance policies, as determined by the IMF, in place.[8]

UN (United Nation)

The United Nations emphasizes reform through human development and political institution reform.[9]

According to the UN, good governance has eight characteristics.[1] Good governance is[1]:

3As +3Es= Accessible, Affordable, Accountable & Efficiency, Effective, Equitable.

1. Consensus Oriented
2. Participatory
3. Following the Rule of Law
4. Effective and Efficient
5. Accountable
6. Transparent
7. Responsive
8. Equitable and Inclusive

World Bank : Worldwide Governance Indicators

The World Bank is more concerned with the reform of economic and social resource control.[9]

In 1992, it underlined three aspects of society which they feel affect the nature of a country’s governance:[9]

1. type of political regime;
2. process by which authority is exercised in the management of the economic and 3. social resources, with a view to development;
4. Capacity of governments to formulate policies and
5. have them effectively implemented.

Effects of Good Governance

International humanitarian funding

Good governance defines an ideal which is difficult to achieve in full, though it is something development supporters consider donating to causes.[10]

Major donors and international financial institutions, like the International Monetary Fund (IMF) or World Bank, are basing their aid and loans on the condition that the recipient undertake reforms ensuring good governance .[1]

This is mostly due to the close link between poor governance and corruption.[8]

Democratization. Civil Society, Decentralization and peaceful conflict management

Because concepts such as civil society, decentralisation, peaceful conflict management and accountability are often used when defining the concept of good governance, the definition of good governance promotes many ideas that closely align with effective democratic governance.[6]

Not surprisingly, emphasis on good governance can sometimes be equated with promoting democratic government. However, a 2011 literature review analyzing the link between democracy and development by Alina Rocha Menocal of the Overseas Development Institute stresses the inconclusiveness of evidence on this relationship.[11]


1. a b c d e What is Good Governance. UNESCAP, 2009. Accessed July 10, 2009.
a b Khan 16 a b c Agere 1a b Agere 4
2. a b c Poluha, Eva; Rosendahl, Mona (2002). Contesting ‘good’ governance:crosscultural perspectives on representation, accountability and public space. Routeledge. ISBN 978-0-7007-1494-0. found at Google books
a b Agere 10 Agere 11

3. a b c d “The IMF’s Approach to Promoting Good Governance and Combating Corruption — A Guide”. International Monetary Fund. 20 June 2005. Retrieved November 2, 2009.
a b c Agere 3^ Agere 2 Rocha Menoc
4. al, A. (2011) “Analysing the relationship between democracy and development”, Overseas Development Institute
6. a b c d e Foresti and Wild 2010. Ssupport to political parties: a missing piece of te governance puzzle. London: Overseas Development Institute
7.^Al-Rodhan, Nayef R.F., Sustainable History and the Dignity of Man: A Philosophy of History and Civilisational Triumph, LIT, 2009.

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